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Windows 10 audio specific optimization.

Discussion in 'Studio Lounge' started by kmetal, Dec 29, 2015.

  1. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    I left off on xp years ago. Just wondering what you guys have been doing to w10 to streamline it. Any advice and links would be much appreciated.
  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I have W10...

    Truthfully, I don't really see the big deal with it; while it hasn't caused me any issues, I'm not noticing any specific improvements with performance or stability, either; then again, maybe it is better with certain things, and I just haven't noticed yet, because I haven't tried to do anything that would have been targeted as needing improvement in those areas in previous versions.

    My main criteria is audio, and some video. It doesn't matter to me if W 10 is better for code writing, or power point, or AutoCAD, or any of the other things that people use a computer for.
    As long as my audio platform is running stable, as long as I can be productive with those platforms and programs without bugs, glitches, or any other technical interruptions, then that's all I really care about.

    I'd have been happy to stay with W7, as I felt it to be solid, stable... certainly more so than the dark days of Vista. And for that matter, I was plenty happy with XP; but after things started moving towards 64 bit in audio land, and because Microsoft was dumping all support for it, I made the move into 8.1, but only because that's what came resident on the new PC I bought that year.

    I have no suggestions, Kyle. I'm one of those guys who adheres to the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" mentality. Maybe Marco or Chris would have suggestions...

    But, if there is a way to improve performance or stability with audio programs ( or any multimedia apps), I'm most certainly going to at least listen to suggestions, even if I don't have any current complaints. ;)
    kmetal likes this.
  3. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    The big one. Get a well designed CP with excellent USB ports and PCIe slots capable of interfacing the platform you choose. Stability and low latency is all about the right interface without sharing ports for the style of music you do most.

    As of 2015, I cannot run production low latency studio on a laptop with large screen monitoring on a laptop. I can mix simple sessions or master on a laptop, but cannot run Midi or USB triggering controllers, 8 or more real time tracking lanes with low latency at a time on a weak PC and Sequoia without some pain, if not down right impossible.
    The true test to this test is when you have 32 channels ready to mix, you are now into overdubbing or USB triggering and creating the detail of a song now. All the special stuff that happens after the bed tracks are done.

    Example, I need to set a loop at bar 32 to 40, punch in the creative and the DAW keeps locking up or acting goofy. I am not only frustrated but the latency is also a pita.
    A PCIe interface could do that with 64 channels loaded up, exaggerate a BPM at say, 180 bpm, loop the bars for 4 min and start punching in and out to trip it up. My DAW will never miss a bit on the clock. That is what a good PC with a top PCIe card matched to the ADDA gives you.

    That being said...
    I can can do it better on say Reaper or Ableton, but not Samplitude or Sequoia. Bigger DAW platforms need more dedicated ports or products or optimization.

    Others may say they can but not to my standards from what I've tried to date. This might change with the new and improved CPU, USB3 or whatever comes 2016 forward... but the most import piece of equipment I need for my DAW to run seamlessly is a PCIe card recommended for the interface and a PC that will allow a dedicated port for midi and ADDA.

    Other than that,
    Limit using your tracking DAW to browse the internet. Browsers do weird stuff to a PC.
    Remove, disable everything that calls back for software updates automatically.
    and follow the general audio optimization tips we've been doing for years.

    I look forward to the day we don't worry about processing speed and latency. I'm sure we're not too far off.
    kmetal likes this.
  4. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    That's interesting. I'm actually very happy to hear you guys haven't had to go to tweakville w w10. I was worried with cortina and some of the graphic features it'd be rough.

    Also w10 pro has Remote Desktop capabilities, and virtual machine capabilities. Mixing on your rig from the clients jam room anyone? Maybe just maybe it's possible. I couldn't be much more excited.

    I have usb 3 and some available pcie slots. My first step is the berringer Ethernet interface cuz it's cheap and has similar I/o to the burl in contention. The big test is if Ethernet will cut it. If not gonna get a nice high end pcie interface cars for the burl.

    Also the ddr4 Ram should make a significant differnce. The bench tests I saw were promising!!!

    Still using dedicated midi ports Chris!???

    Paging Marco @pcrecord any tips? If anyone would know I'm guessing it'd be you buddy.

    @Kurt Foster kurt jw what your running for a cpu hear days.??
  5. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Also what virus scans are you all using. Kapertsky (<- butchered spelling) and webroot seem to get consistently good reviews on PC based mags and sites. Tho these are not audio centric, publications.
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    rme pcie 32 has been the best interface. It has both midi and madi. I connect older midi keys to a Mark of the Unicorn MTP and that to the rme. Also use usb midi.
    kmetal likes this.
  7. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    How do I do this Chris?

    I'm asking, because about 4 weeks ago, I received an auto update in the middle of the night, and when I got up the next morning, I went to go back to work on a project I'd been working on the night before, and I found that my PC had restarted itself.
    Of course, I'd saved my work before I went to bed, but it was still a giant PITA to have to re-load the project file...

    So, is there a way I can disable auto-updates?

    Please keep in mind that I'm no PC "expert". I guess I'm saying that you should feel free to use visual aids and hand puppets to explain it to me if necessary. LOL ;)
    kmetal likes this.
  8. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Laptops have a mind on their own and I think it's all pointing to battery time saving, heat control and building money saving. When the builders keep that as a priority, they mess up some the performances we would need to have good DAW performances. Of course I'm not talking about specially buildt for DAW laptops, but does pre-build we find everywhere. My god when I see 200-300$ laptops with AMD or penthium CPU, it makes me puke.. (sorry for the bad word..) those cheap laptops have the same or worst performances of those we decommissioned 5 years ago.. Call them posioned gift !!

    For windows 8.1 the only thing I had to do to get good results on my destop was to deactivate the HPET option in the bios. But On my laptop I had a hard time to record 2 clean tracks without popups...
    Of course nothing was on my side at the time. It was a one shot remote recording and I didn't took time to clean install the OS with DAW in mind OR tweak the current installation...

    An interesting thing is that HPET option isn't present in my laptop's bios but I know it doesn't meen the technology is not active. Some laptops bios are not showing all the options a desktop would (specially if compared with a DYI one) See most corporate PC builders makes their own bios interfaces and they sometime hide some features to simplify the bios settings. I'm not saying the HPET was the problem with my laptop, just that it's very possible that if it was I could get screwed with not having the option to turn it off..

    I'm still posponing my windows 10 installation at home and at the studio. Even if I wish it won't, I know it may take a bit of time get it run to my likings so I'm waiting for a downtime in my activities to do it..

    As for those who got it and get hi latency, it's said that included audio drivers were optimised in win10. Trying other drivers then asio would be a thing to try.
    Also, before trying all the optimisations tips online, Latencymon now comes with win10 support. It could help to identify what is slowing you down.

    If you must go their, here is a basic optimisation guide (works even for non forcusrite users) :

    I'm gonna jump in the win10 adventure in a few weeks, I'll let you know how it turns out and what I did change to the basic installation ;)
    kmetal likes this.
  9. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I think we're all going to need Marco's expertise so I'm looking forward to your tweaks pal.
    I have the Pro edition, the Home edition has less capability to defer updates for a later date and remove Apps.
    I'm thinking the version to get is Enterprise . You have full control how it sets updates.

    That being said, none of this may make any sense to the Home edition version users because you won't find the defer or remove App or updates. Its disabled, not visible.

    Look for start up items and remove what you can.
    Look in your Settings, remove or disable updates.
    Look for notifications in the Action Center and get rig of them too.
    Look for all ways to remove calling back to the App for updates.

    From my reading, Enterprise is the one I think Pro Audio guys might be needing now. My Pro Edition is great, but it still calls back for Windows updates (at a later date). Most other Apps, I have and can disable.
    DonnyThompson and kmetal like this.
  10. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    This gives me one more motivation.. I'll keep you posted ;)

    I came to the same conclusions, I'm gonna test the enterprise version. This is the one I'll be exposed in my day job anyway.
    I have no doubt the pro version will be capable as well. I've runned windows 7 pro x86 and x64, windows 8.1 pro x64 for a while without and issue.
    Chris, I'm sure we can deactivate the updates in the pro version. . . it may come to editing the services or some other hidden features. I'm gonna check upon that !
    This is one guide I just found but haven't tested yet.

    Installing windows is not the biggest job, it's all the audio tools and VSTi that will take time..
    kmetal likes this.
  11. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

    I just had to rebuild my music system because the C drive failed, so I stuck windows 10 on it. What is good is that it seems to work fine - Cubase 8 installed fine so did Sony Soundforge and all the Adobe CC stuff. The install annoyed me because it is on a USB stick, which for some reason kept going down the boot order, despite setting it to be 1st boot device. At the end of the install cycle, it reboots back into the install programme, and I didn't realise and installed two versions of Windows! What is bad? I use at home a Tascam interface, but in the machine sits a Maya 4 in 4 out card which is oldish, but good when I take the computer out, as now. Windows 10 drivers are available but they don't work, and trying to activate the drivers crashes windows. Now it's gone back to the old start menu system, it's back to like Windows 7. Most things work perfectly well, a few things are in different places, that's all. AVG identified some of the windows programmes as problems - so I removed those. Start up is quite quick. So - I was forced into it, and it isn't remotely a problem bar the driver issues (The downloaded epson 1400 software package also crashed it, but downloading just the driver worked fine)

    I've read the complaints and the moans about it doing things, but I rejected the microsoft browser in favour of safari and firefox and both of those work fine.

    I can't get my favourite samplers to work because the discs are at home, and I could only download one of them. I shelled out forty quid to upgrade my accounts software that I use on it - I know I shouldn't, but it really lives on another machine, but when I go away for weeks at a time like now, one machine has to do double duty. Just out of curiosity, I tried the old version on windows 10, and it works perfectly - so I could have saved the upgrade cost. apparently the database format is 'newer' and this won't work on XP machines. They cunningly didn't mention that the old version works fine on 10! I assumed that the upgrade was necessary! Gullible.

    My impression is that it's fine. All the Adobe stuff runs fine too - video and audio.
    kmetal likes this.
  12. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I'm using Windows Defender. Plus I have Rogue Killer
    kmetal likes this.
  13. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

    I've always liked AVG. Oddly, I'm working with an individual who is into computers, and he thinks I'm mad for buying my software and my music. he is one of these music should be free merchants - and he tells me that he doesn't run antivirus any longer because respectable hackers are far cleverer, and if your computer is full of pirate software, if you get something, you just go back to the last clean image! He annoys me greatly, but is a nice guy, I think.

    AVG has always worked for me, despite occasional forays into Pinky and Perky and Norton.
    kmetal likes this.
  14. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

  15. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Marco, you da man!!!!!

    Interesting observation Donny. The OS is my next purchase for the cpu, and I didn't even consider the enterprise version. Phew! My goal is to keep both machines indentical as far as drivers and OS tweaks, which is one reason i brought back the amd machine, the new stuff has new ram protocol and I think backwards compatibility will be nill soon.

    @paulears thats hilarious about your buddy's virus scan philosophy. And I too want to use safari, good to know.

    That said, I'm strongly considering not ever connecting the computer to the Internet.


    Could I use a seperate drive just for Internet browsing and office work Ect, and another one for audio OS and programs, and a seperate audio drive? Would this allow me to have no virus scan safely? Or at least safely keep it disabled if not?
  16. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Well total bummer. Enterprise edition is only available in volume purchase from Microsoft so I'd have to buy 5 licenses minimum. Gonna search for a 3rd party seller.
  17. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Of course you can have 2 partitions or 2 drives and install an OS on both.
    With 2 hard drives, it's even easier if your bios allows to call a boot menu at start up.. (often F12) And just decide which one to choose.. The only thing to remember is to avoid accessing your OS that access internet from the unprotected one in case it could be infected.
    BUT, there is a slight danger with some viruses that affect local files which can affect both hdd. (Crypto locker was one that encrypted all files on all drives..) but it's rare...
    A very motivated user could prepare 2 OS drives and only plug one at once, but it's alot of manual work...

    Another option is to use a virtual machine to browse online. You install your DAW OS and use vmware player (it's free) to build another OS that will run as a VM on top of it. You can keep a clean snapshot in case you get in trouble. If it's only to surf the web, it could even be a linux OS which is not subject to viruses attack.

    If any of this is of interest to you or others, just say so, I'll find some ressources and post them here ;)
    kmetal likes this.
  18. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    I'm very very interested in virtual machines and remote desktops cuz w10 pro can do that, and so can my NAS Drive which functions as a rudimentary computer. I could just use this I guess. Frankly I find VM's quite confusing and remote desktops only slightly less on confusing. My goal is to be able to run my daw from anywhere (while I'm saving for source connect) so I can make mix adjustments from a clients home, or give them access to make adjustments and save to their folder on the NAS, which would have limited acess. But really I'm puzzled as to the true capabilities of VMs and remotes desktops, and want to make sure I have the necessary hardware. I also want to make sure everything has the same capabilities and speaks the same language as much as possible.

    Also you answered my question before I could ask about an alternate OS, I was thinking Mac OS, but lunix interests me with its open source format.

    So a clean snapshot is clean and reliable? My boss has run into problems w his Mac trying to mirror one drive to another, with lost files and authorizations.
    Is a snapshot as reliable as a re-format? I have experienced the tedium more than I care to recall.

    I know I'd personally appreciate, whenever you have some soare time, any and all pertinent info and links on the subject, and I think as this sort of thing becomes more commonplace with networked audio and remote collabs, others would to.

    The hard part is finding someone so knowledgeable like you in this area, who actually is proficient in recording and it's specialized needs. Nevermind generous with their time.

    I think I'm going to sign up for some computer networking/programing and electronics repair classes, at the local junior college in the near future, as I see systems quickly moving from power amps and mixing to more IT and programming based installs and more importantly system tech support. Thanks Marco.

    To think this all started w a portastudio to record my punk rock band....
  19. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    LOL.. I used a porta studio too, when I was a road musician. I carried it with me to all those cities; I had a nice little case for it that held the recorder, a pair of HP's and an SM57. During the day, when I had nothing to do, I would write and record.
    It was a great little tool for that. I still have a box of TDK Metal cassettes somewhere, with all those ideas...I just don't have a porta studio anymore to play them with.

    I was recently thinking about how I got to where I am now, trying to recall the timeline; it all starts around 1978 or so, when I bought my first home recording gear: a 1/4" /Four Track / 7.5 ips Dokorder R to R, a little Biamp 8 channel mixer, and a couple nice mics... and thinking at the time that it would be all I would ever need to record at home.

    Fast-Forward 5 years to '83/'84 or so, and during that time, after learning the craft even more by working with my private instructor ( a pro engineer who had worked at Caribou Ranch and had moved to my area to work in Product Development at AT), in some regional pro rooms, moving up to a 1/2" 8 track 15ips machine ( Tascam 48), a Yamaha Rev 7 Reverb, and a Tascam 3500 desk, and thinking that this would be all I would ever need...at least up to 1991, when I dropped "real" money on a Tascam MS 1"/16 track Tape Machine, a Neotek Elan desk, and 2 TT patch Bays to connect up all my peripheral gear, which had grown in scope and size to include gear like 1176's, LA2's, dbx 166's, SPX-90's.... and of course, that stuff would be "all I would ever need..."

    Learning and working in pro studios during that time, mixing on truly pro gear like Neve, SSL, Trident, MCI, Studer, Teletronix, Urie, Lexicon.... always kept me striving for the best sound I could get at home.

    Somewhere in there, I'm not sure when exactly (maybe '92 or so), I found computer technology as a foundation for audio production... which meant that beyond learning how to use the software, I also needed to learn about computers.
    ( Anyone remember Cakewalk for DOS? Striping a track on a tape with SMPTE? Or those pesky little IRQ issues when installing PCI-slot hardware cards?)

    There were times I had my doubts about it, too - like when I would apply EQ to a 2-track file in SoundForge, and a little status window would pop up with the message, "estimated 2 hours to complete" .

    Two Hours? "Two hours?!" I could have mixed an entire song in two hours on a Console and Tape Machine...

    So why did I continue to use computers as the foundation?

    That's not a rhetorical question, either.... LOL.. I'm asking that sincerely, and am happy to be informed by my colleagues as to why I did. ;)

    kmetal likes this.
  20. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

    I think the internet connection just HAS to be part of the deal nowadays as so much software works in the background. I turned on the new build music machine this morning to be told Audition had updated, Soundforge had installed a missing plugin, and there was a nvidia update for the video card if I want it. The 'cloud' now has copies of my vital data, and one sampler just sent me a nice picture that when I dropped it onto my non-functioning sampler control panel authenticated it and it now works.

    The trouble is that you need to be aware what you might be doing. Looking for a missing driver I very nearly downloaded some kind of driver installer - no doubt full of adverts and worse. I guess we need to learn how this all works, even when we don't want to.

    My wife phoned me up because she could't print - after half an hour I gave up. She said not to worry, she'd just close it up and try later. Close it up? You're on your LAPTOP??? Yes, why? Because that isn't connected to the printer - the printer is in the office connected to that computer! That's stupid she said, they both have Google!
    kmetal likes this.

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